Utah People's Party

…proclain liberty through out all the land….(Leviticus 25:10)

Candidates

The Home page began to explain that we select our candidates for public office very differently than does a conventional party. To understand why this is so important, let’s take a peek at our state’s election law.

Unless an organization of registered voters is a registered political party under this chapter, it may not place the names of candidates representing that organization upon the primary and regular general election ballots under the common organization name. (Utah State Code. 20A-8-102 (2)(a))

A political party essentially is an organization that nominates candidates for the public to choose from on general election day. Because our election law does not allow any other type of organization to place candidates on the general election ballots under the organization name, nominating the right candidates to the general public is the core mission of a party and the quality of a party is the quality of its candidates. A quality candidate is a candidate who stands for that which is right rather than standing for that which seams politically expedient. Many citizens judge party’s by their platforms but the candidates of major parties deviate from their party’s platforms often so the platforms do not provide a reliable indicator of what that party stands for. Furthermore, if a party’s candidates and its platform disagree, it is the view of the candidates that will be implemented as public policy if the candidates win public offices.

20A-8-401.   Registered political parties — Bylaws.
(2) Each state political party, each new political party seeking registration, and each unregistered political party seeking registration shall ensure that its constitution or bylaws contain:

(c) a procedure for selecting party candidates at the federal, state, and county levels that allows active participation by party members; (Utah Code 20A-8-401)

Election law requires that every political party use a candidate selection process “that allows active participation by party members.” While doing their active participation, the members of any party should bare in mind the following counsel from the First Presidency regarding how a citizen should chose the candidates that he supports.

First Presidency Issues Letter on Political Participation

SALT LAKE CITY 22 September 2008 The following letter was issued by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 11, 2008, to be read to Church congregations throughout the United States:

Political Participation, Voting, and the Political Neutrality of the Church

As citizens we have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy. Participation in the political process affects our communities and nation today and in the future.

Latter-day Saints as citizens are to seek out and then uphold leaders who will act with integrity and are wise, good, and honest. Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties.

Therefore, in this election year, we urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government.

The Church affirms its neutrality regarding political parties, platforms, and candidates. The Church also affirms its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The First Presidency

What did the Lord urge us citizens to do?

1) register to vote
2) study the issues (carefully and prayerfully)
3) study the candidates (carefully and prayerfully)
4) vote for (those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government)
5) actively support (those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government)

How could you judge which candidate in a particular race will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government if you have not already formed your own ideas of good government? You first need to decide what your ideas of good government are. Then you should compare the candidates to you ideas to see which candidate comes the nearest. Because having his own ideas of good government is an essential prerequisite for each citizen to be able to carry out the instructions of the First Presidency quoted above, the People’s Party does help citizens discern what the Lord sees as good government and bring their own ideas into conformity with those of the Lord. When you have chosen the nearest candidate, you should provide him with both passive support (voting for him) and active support (persuading other citizens to vote for him). We stress that passive support alone will not be enough to satisfy the Lord that you are a good citizen. Because your time is limited and needed for other duties than citizenship, do not waste your time deciding which candidate is the farthest from your ideas of good government and trying to campaign against him. Your duty as explained by the Lord’s authorized representatives is positive rather than negative. Do not wast your time deciding or researching which candidate is most popular, well funded, or electable. Your have been told to vote for and actively support the best candidates. The Lord has not told you to oppose the worst candidates. Also note that you have been instructed to chose your candidate based on how closely the candidate will carry out your ideas. It is not enough to identify the candidate who says the things most pleasant for you to hear. Other than revelation, the most reliable guild to a person’s future behavior is his past behavior. It is more valuable to know what a candidate has done before than it is to know what he says he will do in the future. Another thing that is very valuable to remember is that important words like freedom mean different things to different people. A person who has good intentions and an exemplary personal life but who understands a word like freedom very differently than you do is more likely to act on his version of the word than yours.

The letter quoted above says, The Church affirms its neutrality regarding political parties, platforms, and candidates. The Church also affirms its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues.”  The political neutrality of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is explicitly stated to apply to parties, platforms and candidates, but the Church is not necessarily neutral on individual political issues. The People’s Party is a political party, so the Church is neutral regarding it. The Church does sometimes take a position other than neutral regarding a political issue. Does it hope that the stand it takes will influence the positions of politicians, citizens, or both? If not than why take the position? If some citizens have been influenced by the position that the Church takes on a political issue, what good could that do if the citizens do not have any candidate to support who agrees with that position of the Church? The People’s Party will help the citizenry at general election time by putting forth candidates who do agree with the Church’s issue stands.

In order to nominate excellent candidates consistently, a party must base its selection process on true principles. As mentioned on the home page, one of those true principles is that a humble person makes a better leader than a prideful person. A humble person is more likely to follow guidance from the Lord because he recognizes that he needs guidance from someone wiser than himself. Pride is a sin in and of itself and the parent of other sins. Traditionally, the major parties have expected candidates to appoint themselves to run for the endorsement of the party. When two or more candidates of the same party seek the same public office, the rivals have been expected to compete for the support of the party’s delegates. The delegates have been expected to choose one of the rivals and endorse him. If that were the best way to choose a leader then why has the Lord never used that system to select a prophet or any other officer of his church? The office should seek the man rather than the man seek the office. A careful examination of ancient scripture shows examples of the office seeking the man rather than the man seeking the office, with respect to political office as well as religious offices. Saul was chosen as the first king of united Israel without volunteering or doing any competing. In those ancient days, the people of Israel had a prophet whose name was Samuel.

And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people. (1 Samuel 9:17)

1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.(1 Samuel 10:1, 24)

When Saul was king and his performance was not satisfactory, his replacement, David, was chosen without volunteering or doing any competing.

1 And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. (1 Samuel 16:1, 10-13)

These scriptures shows examples of the Lord calling political leaders though his prophet thousands of years ago.  As explained on the Origin and Purposes page, the Lord provided a king for ancient Israel not because having an earthly king was a good idea but because the people wanted a king and the Lord respected their agency even though the people were making a very serious mistake. Ever willing to help his children as much as their choices permit, the Lord provided the Israelites with the least awful king possible. The principle is still sound in our own dispensation that the best possible leaders must be called to serve. They will not step forward on their own initiative.

Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil. (Doctrine and Covenants 98:10)

Note that the Lord gave section ninety eight to the prophet Joseph Smith before the Saints lived in Utah. So the principle that the good, wise and honest should be sought for diligently was reaffirmed  back in early years of the restoration of the gospel as explained on the origin and purposes page. That page does show that during a period back in the 1800s, political leaders were called through the authority of the Priesthood just as in ancient times. Nevertheless, in our own century, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does have a Political Neutrality policy which says among other things that the Church does not endorse or oppose candidates for public office. This policy has the effect of removing the Priesthood and the presiding officers of the Church from any direct role in the Candidate selection process. So in our own time, who does have the duty to do a diligent search for the good, wise and honest? Some of the things taught on the citizens page are so relevant to the candidate selection process that they bear repeating here.

“We must urge all members as individuals to become involved in public issues within and without political parties. … One of the things that is wrong with politics [is that we] have been staying away from our district meetings where the delegates to conventions are made. When, too late, we see the wrong people on the ticket….” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 363).

As president Lee teaches us, if we are wise, some of our political involvement will occur many months before each general election, to ensure that we have the best possible candidates to support on election day. It is important to learn, that getting the right candidate into each race is the shared duty of the candidate himself and of his fellow citizens.

“We must become involved in civic affairs. As citizens … we cannot do our duty and be idle spectators. It is vital that we follow this counsel from the Lord: ‘Honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil’ ” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:10) (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 683).

Note that the Lord says here that seeking the good, wise and honest to be our political leaders should happen. Every one else can point out that the Lord did not assign him the duty of doing the seeking any more than he assigned that duty to you or to me, so this duty is equally distributed over all the
citizens. What then is the duty of a citizen who has been selected by his piers as their candidate? The same as any citizen selected by his piers to represent them. According to President Harold B. Lee–

“The reason why we get into the hands of autocrats in politics is because many of us criticize and stay home and don’t go to our district meetings. And we don’t allow ourselves to become candidates, or representatives to vote for those who will represent us in the nation, or the county, or the state” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 367).

President Lee here suggests that each of us should be willing to be a candidate if his piers find him when they or their representatives do the needed search. Furthermore, each of us should be willing to serve as a representative if our piers wish us to represent them. As mentioned on the Home page, the People’s Party implements these duties as follows.

The party members elect a candidate nominating committee.  The committee searches for the persons with the qualities that Government officials should have.  The committee finds potential candidates that are talented and virtuous but typically not famous. Most wise, good and honest people are not famous. For each government office that will be up for election, the committee chooses one person to recommend to the party members.  Finally the party members decide to follow the committee recommendation or to do something else.

The members of the People’s Party can reject the committee recommendation and choose another candidate if they wish. This process makes it possible for the party to place candidates in many races for many years at a time without any self appointed candidates for public office. If any rivals do enter a particular race, as often happens in the major parties, the People’s Party members decide which candidate the party will endorse, so the committee will not really be able to impose its will on the party members. The committee members can be chosen so that their will tends to match the will of the party members so that the party members will be likely to accept the committee recommendations. Of course, neither our Candidate Nominating Committee nor our party members can install a person into government office. Only the general citizenry can do that.

Multiple Plurality

If it is a true principle that the office should seek the man rather than the man seek the office, than that principle should be used to select the leaders of the party as well as the candidates whom the party places on the general election ballot. Clearly the members of the Candidate Nominating Committee are important leaders of the party so they too should be called in some way rather than stepping forward and competing or running for office within the Party.

Any party member can nominate one person to represent him on the Candidate Nominating Committee. Any party member who has not made a nomination and feels that an existing nominee will represent him well need not make any nomination. When those party members wishing to do so have each made a nomination, the officer conducting the meeting of party members declares that nominations are closed. If at that point there are few enough nominees that all can be committee members then the conducting officer declares that all nominees are committee members. If there are too many nominees for all of them to become committee members, then each party member votes for the nominee the party member wishes to represent him on the committee. The conducting officer then declares elected the nominee receiving the most votes, then declares elected the nominee receiving the second most votes and so on until the committee is full.

Each party member can call a person to represent him on the committee by making a nomination. If too many such calls are made, the issue is resolved by vote as indicated above. A person need not run for or seek committee membership in order to obtain committee membership because if the most popular nominee and the second most popular nominee and the third most popular, etc will all win seats, then the number of supporters a nominee needs to win a seat will be far less than a majority of all the party members present. Most good, wise and honest people are typically not famous and it is expected that most nominees will be unfamiliar to any particular party member, but because of the small number of votes needed to win, any person who is trusted and respected by the few party members who know him has a good prospect of winning a seat on the committee.

The citizens page notes that the time of party members is a limited and precious resource. The party does not consume that time unless there is real need to do so. We do not vote if there are few enough nominees that all can be committee members because voting in that case is not needed to decide the composition of the committee and would therefor be a waste of time. Furthermore, we do not expend our members time on campaigns for membership on the Candidate nominating committee because such campaigns are not needed to get suitable committee members. Furthermore allowing potential committee members to campaign for a place on the committee would not help us to get the most humble possible committee members.

Recall what the first Presidency letter quoted above says is the duty of each citizen when choosing a candidate to support for a public office.

Therefore, in this election year, we urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government.

For each public office, it is the duty of each citizen to vote for and actively support the candidate that will most closely carry out that citizen’s ideas of good government. When choosing which candidate to support, we urge you to avoid the following invalid criterion: that the Candidate be a found within the best possible religion. Part of the spirit of the law of religious freedom is the idea that a citizen need not belong to the true church in order to serve well in public office. Elder Dallin H. Oaks put it this way.

… Latter-day Saints must be careful never to support or act upon the idea that a person must subscribe to some particular set of religious beliefs in order to qualify for a public office. The framers of our constitution included a provision that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States” (Article VI). That constitutional principle forbids a religious test as a legal requirement, but it of course leaves citizens free to cast their votes on the basis of any preference they choose. But wise religious leaders and members will never advocate religious tests for public office. (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Religious Freedom”, BYU-Idaho speech 13-10-09)

The discussion of constitutional government on the Origin and Purposes page explains what “religious test” meant to our Founding Fathers. Persons not of our faith have made some exceptional contributions as government officials. Doctor Ron Paul both as a sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives and three times as a candidate for President of the United States has been a wonderfully consistent defender of Constitutional limits on the powers of government and of other key teachings of America’s Founding Fathers. We are also very impressed with Roy Moore, former chief Justice of the Alabama state supreme court. A federal judge made a very distorted interpretation of the First Amendment and on the basis of that distorted interpretation, ordered Justice Moore to remove a monument of the ten commandments from the Alabama state supreme court building. Relying on the correct interpretation of the amendment, Moore refused to obey that order. He refused to submit to unconstitutional power and by so doing helped to reestablish limits on federal power. Moore was driven out of office for his courageous defense of limits on federal power but he never backed down.

Of course any discussion of persons who did not have the light of the restored gospel in their lives but nevertheless made great contributions as government officials must note that our Founding Fathers whom the Lord declared to be wise, did not yet have the fulness of the gospel in their lives when they gave us our inspired Constitution.

And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood. (Doctrine and Covenants 101 : 80)

A person with a proper attitude of humility, and altruism will serve well if called or drafted but he cannot be expected to struggle a lot to defeat rivals because he does not assume he would serve better than any other. This brings us back to the first presidency message cited above.

Therefore, in this election year, we urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government.

The Lord is calling on us as citizens to actively support the candidates that will most nearly carry out our ideas of good government because those candidates will get many votes only if the citizens do this. The People’s Party is founded on the premise that a restoration of our republic will require campaigns base more on citizen activism and less on money and candidate exertion than is traditional now.


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